Barrier Busting: Driving fibre and 5G in our localities

Barrier Busting: Driving fibre and 5G in our localities – An industry / Local Government Roundtable

This roundtable will bring together key movers in local, central and devolved Governments and industry experts in the mobile and fixed line sectors to share perspectives on:

  • how next gen (‘gigabit’) mobile and fibre networks will roll out in UK over the coming 5 years including and what will this mean for Local Authorities
    • how will mobile landscape of large, medium and small cells evolve and what role will shared infrastructure play
    • what are the outstanding challenges facing full fibre installations
  • what are the drivers and challenges for Local Authorities and what are they doing to enable the roll out of these communications networks and coverage
  • what are the collaborative lessons and priorities for the future

Background: The economic impact of gigabit broadband coverage could be worth up to £51.4 billion over five years to the UK according to a new report from Assembly Research. At a local level, through full-fibre and 5G, local authorities can see up to 3.2% increase in new businesses operating in the area and existing businesses will see an increase in productivity which should result in an expected increase in turnover of up to 3.8% per worker per annum.

Fortunately, we are seeing tangible steps in the UK in driving the roll out of full fibre and 5G networks which should in turn see some exciting developments over the next five years. Yet the roll out of communications infrastructure is not cheap. Achieving full fibre across UK is estimated to cost £30 billion with 70% of this represented by the civil engineering costs of installing the cabling.

In the case of mobile communications, operators face the dual challenge of extending coverage in poorly served areas and enhancing capacity in high demand areas as well as the competitive pressures to provide up to date technologies such as 5G for consumers. This does not come cheap and will entail increased investment over the next 5 years. COVID-19, while potentially increasing the applications and markets for the communications industry, may place additional investment challenges in the short term.

A concerted effort to reduce the cost of implementing such next generation communications networks will enable the above wider benefits to be achieved sooner and more extensively. This requires collaboration and understanding between Local Authorities and the communications industry – to reduce local regulatory barriers and streamline processes.


14:00-14:05 Introduction and scene-setting: an overview of current position and key developments across UK Raj Sivalingam, Head of Innovation – WHP Telecoms
14:05-14:15 What are the key considerations in the roll out of current 4G and emerging 5G networks and what does this mean for the mobile infrastructure landscape of macro, medium and small cells Paul Ceely, Independent Consultant
1415-1425 What will the role of shared infrastructure play and what are the key deployment challenges facing the sector Mark McKenna, CTIL
14:25-14:35 An overview of the Shared Rural Network and its role in delivering connectivity Ben Roome, DMSL

Open discussion: 

  • Viewpoints of local authority best practice
  • Richard Maddock & Sophie Weston, DCMS
  • Anne McLister- Glasgow City Council
  • Ric Reilly, WM5G
  • Croydon Council – Opama Khan
  • Davina Fell, Digital Infrastructure Programme Manager, Southwark Council
  • Fin Kelly, Strategic Lead – Digital and Smart Cities, West London Alliance/Ealing Council
15:30-15:45 Next steps and close Raj Sivalingam, Head of Innovation – WHP Telecoms


Joining details for this roundtable will be sent separately to your booking confirmation, nearer the start date. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sophie James

  • Sophie James

    Sophie James

    Broadband Stakeholder Group, Central Government, Communications Infrastructure, Financial Services
    T 020 7331 2038
  • Matthew Evans

    Matthew Evans

    Director | Markets
    T 020 7331 2034

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